(Piece published on June 1)
AUSTIN – Today Land Commissioner George P. Bush sent a letter to and held a conference call with elected officials in Texas’ communities with information to help constituents be prepared for the 2018 Hurricane Season. He informed local leaders of the work the General Land Office (GLO) is doing to help communities prepare and recover more quickly should a disaster strike. He also provided links to valuable disaster preparedness resources.
“Experts anticipate an above-average season with 14 named storms, including seven hurricanes, three of which are expected to be major,” said Commissioner Bush. “Six Presidential Disaster Declarations have been issued for Texas in the past three years. These disasters should serve as a reminder that Texans must prepare for the hurricane season, and the most effective response and recovery begins at the local level.”
GLO staff has and will continue to conduct training and outreach throughout the state, focusing on pre- and post-disaster recovery planning. The GLO encourages all jurisdictions to participate in training for disaster recovery planning.
Commissioner Bush continued, “As a local elected official, you can take several steps today to lead your community’s preparedness effort. Comprehensive recovery planning requires establishing and rehearsing plans for continuity of operations and a system to protect critical government documents.”
Commissioner Bush asked local leaders to remind constituents to:
Maintain adequate levels of renter or flood insurance (which typically includes a 30-day waiting period before going into effect), even if you do not live in a flood plain;
Safeguard important personal documents such as birth certificates, deeds or insurance policies; and
Keep emergency supplies like bottled water and canned food on hand.
In the wake of Hurricanes Ike, Dolly, Rita, and Harvey, the Bastrop wildfires and the 2015-16 floods, Texas made great strides to improve disaster preparation. The GLO provides resources to assist communities as we prepare for the hurricane season and other hazardous events at: http://www.glo.texas.gov/recovery/partnerships/recovery-resources/index.html.
Additional helpful resources are available at the following websites:
Department of Homeland Security https://www.ready.gov
Federal Emergency Management Agency https://www.fema.gov
The United States Coast Guard http://www.uscgboating.org
American Red Cross http://www.redcross.org
Texas Division of Emergency Management https://www.dps.texas.gov/dem
Texas A&M Forest Service http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu
National Flood Insurance Program http://www.floodsmart.gov
Texas Department of Insurance http://www.tdi.texas.gov
Small Business Administration https://www.sba.gov
Texas General Land Office http://www.glo.texas.gov/recovery
“I am honored to support and work alongside our Texas communities to prepare and respond to whatever comes our way,” said Commissioner Bush. “The economic health of our communities depends upon the steps we take to build resilience. Working together we can be better prepared for Texas’ unpredictable weather.”